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Tarzan of the Apes

USA 1918
produced by
William Parsons for National Film Corporation
directed by Scott Sidney
starring Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, True Boardman, Kathleen Kirkham, George B.French, Gordon Griffith, Colin Kenny, Thomas Jefferson, Bessie Toner, Jack Wilson, Louis Morrison, Eugene Pallette, Fred L.Wilson
screenplay by Fred Miller, Lois Weber, based on the novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs

silent
Tarzan, Tarzan (Elmo Lincoln)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Abandoned in the jungles of Africa, Lord and Lady Grreystoke (True Boardman, Kathleen Kirkham) have found shelter in a small hut, where they have their only son ... but both die soon after his birth. However, the little boy is soon adopted by a couple of apes, who have just lost their own baby, as one of theirs.

It's not until years later until the boy, who's named Tarzan (and played by Gordon Griffith), notices there is a distinct difference between him and the other apes, especially when he realizes that there are more similarities between him and the natives than between him and his ape parents. Thus, TArzan starts to imitate the natives and even starts to wear cloths to be more like the humans. Eventually, he finds his parents hut, where he teaches himself to read from a picture book, and where he finds a knife with which he soon enough kills a gorilla to earn himself respect amond his ape-friends.

Eventually, Binns (George B.French), the Greystokes' servant who has been in captivity for ten years, returns to the hut where he finds Tarzan and starts to teach him the ways of man. Eventually though, the slave traders who had Binns in captivity for all those years, return to the jungle, and on their escape, Binns and Tarzan part ways, and while Binns makes it to Great Britain, Tarzan is left behind in the jungle, where he grows up to be a strong man (then played by Elmo Lincoln).

Years have passed before Binns has managed to convince the Greystoke family to go to Africa on an expedition to try and find the young Lord Greystoke - Tarzan of course -, but now that they're here, they can't find a trace of Tarzan, even if Tarzan always watches them from close by, but he's just too shy to reveal himself to them. He is especially interested though in Jane (Enid Markey), the daughter of the expedition's head (Thomas Jefferson), and does save her from a lion when she's attacked, without the others ever getting close enough to get a hold of him.

Later, Jane is abducted by a native, and Tarzan has to fight and kill the native to free her. When the others come looking for Jane, they become captives of the local tribe of natives, and to save them, Tarzan sets the natives' village on fire. Freed from their captors, the expedition moves on, safe for Jane, whom Tarzan has strong romantic feelings for, and who starts to feel for him as well ...

 

The very first film adventure of Tarzan is a (for its time) well-made little escapist adventure with Elmo Lincoln giving a powerful portrayal as the king of the jungle - but somehow one can't but notice that as a film, Tarzan of the Apes lacks a certain stringency, it simply sticks too closely to the novel that portrays the whole evolution of Tarzan to really focus on the adventure at hand, and thus the finale lacks the impact it could have had. Still, the film is paced well enough to make one forgive certain shortcomings, and not only as a film-historical document, it's definitely worth a look.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD